Day 23 – 9th April 2020

Both Tracy and I were working today, I started super early to clear as much as I could before needing to look after Lucy and Alexander. However they were both quite good at amusing themself.

My work involved quite a few meetings today, evenly split between zoom and straight phone calls. More than usual as both my peers were on leave as was my boss, so I was covering everything that couldn’t be delegated. Our remit is evolving and becoming clearer, and we’re plugged in to most of what is going on. So I spent the day directing traffic. I also did the quiz at our team meeting with the extreme close ups we took at the weekend. The team did really well with them, I only had to give extra clues on four of the ten. Only one wasn’t guessed.

Lego Houses

Lucy had taken out conversation during last night’s walk about building to heart. She started building modular rooms and then connecting them together.

It was a very iterative process for her, because the 3d joins weren’t strong and stable. So bits came crashing down from time to time. I was quite proud though that she didn’t lose her temper with it and instead rebuilt it afresh, usually with quite a different design.

She had a few attempts at making a video to explain it, and shared one of them with her cousins via WhatsApp. She was also very patient with me in meetings. When I got off the call she would ask how long until my next meeting. When there was more than a few minutes I’d get taken through the latest remodeling. It was rather like some of the construction projects I’ve worked on, although with a much shorter time between the highlight reports!

After lunch Lucy began watching YouTube videos about Lego friends construction and room design. The house was progressively moved from the table into the floor and it became a bungalow in style because that reduced the complexity of her build.

By the time Tracy came home from work Lucy was on videos showing her how to modify Lego friends figurines to make them into child sized figurines. That’s her next thing that she wants to do. I suggested that she asks Alexander to help as he has a track record of customising Lego figures.


For lunch Alexander and I had paninis made with the bread rolls he made yesterday. We also took the cover off the patio furniture and had lunch outside. We decided that it must have been the self-raising flour that made it rise, because there was a very tight crumb, like a cake. The bread was also very dense. It tasted nice, but definitely not a sourdough.

Dinner was a defrost and heat meal, I worked until after six. We had chilli con carne with tortilla chips and a side order of breaded chicken from the freezer. No preparation, just applied heat.

After that we got our daily exercise in, three times round the green with Lucy and then down to the Merstham rec and back for Alexander and I to get us up to 10k steps. We chatted about the d&d campaign and also about subverting tropes when you design stories or games.

Washing Dishes

We’ve been getting our dishwasher and washing detergent from Smol. They post eco friendly detergent to you in demand. It’s a just in time sort of system, and like most other just in time systems of late it’s got a bit disrupted. I also didn’t get Tracy’s reminder to get dishwasher tablets when I was at the supermarket yesterday. So we’ve run out.

However we have plenty of washing up liquid. So, only realising when I’d filled the dishwasher with dirty dishes I had a moment. I decided that I’d just squirt a bit of washing up liquid into the machine. I gave it what I’d usually put in a bowl if I was washing by hand.

When I got back in from my walk I realised that there’s a reason why we use dishwasher tablets.

Day 18 – 4th April 2020

Today is a Saturday, none of us are working. Despite this a young lady, who shall remain nameless, decided that we needed to get up early. So we’ve been at it just as long as the weekdays. I’m knackered and ready for bed, and it’s only nine o’clock.

Creative writing

I wrote a short story this morning, it’s not brilliant, and life writing rather than fiction. I’ve been meaning to write it for a few weeks, since the first Write Club meeting in the Merstham library at the beginning of March. I couldn’t make the meeting, Saturday mornings are when the kids do martial arts and we do our shopping. Or at least that used to be what we did. Lucy did her martial arts lesson over zoom, but we didn’t go shopping until later.

Anyway the challenge was to write 1,000 words on a place where you’d lost something. I struggled with that because I haven’t really lost anything. In the end I decided to write about a loss of innocence that I experienced, although it wasn’t my innocence that was lost. You can read Lost Luggage on my main blog.

Extreme Close Ups

We had a lot of fun taking photos of things this morning. It’s my turn to set a team quiz this week. We did a picture round of TV shows last week. So we had a chat and thought that extreme close ups of everyday items might be a really interesting idea.

This snowballed and we’ve taken pictures of about thirty things and challenged each other to identify them. So I’m definitely doing this with my team on Thursday. Here’s one for you to guess.


Lots of cooking went on today. This morning Alexander made French toast for his breakfast. I had a little bit and it tasted fab, although I’m not a fan of the texture of French toast.

When he’d done Tracy moved in and made a large pot of chilli con carne. She also started the prep for dinner, which was an experiment. We had a mixed feast of quesadillas for dinner, there were at least four flavours, chicken, sausage, chorizo and peppers. It was a very good meal.


We all went for a walk after lunch. It was supposed to be a rough circular walk round our house. I’d had a quick look at the map and decided that because there were public footpaths marked that we could walk round our house. The chosen route was to go up to Furzefield Wood, get onto the embankment and then follow it round until we got back onto Bletchingley Road. From there we’d go over the road and follow it back to our house.

It didn’t quite work though. When we got to the motorway junction the path became quite overgrown with brambles. Alexander was in the lead and he’d chosen to wear shorts. So we turned back and had an attempt to follow the embankment in the woods. However that brought us to a similar dead end. We turned round and went back to the other marked footpath and followed that instead. Total distance was 2km, and we were out of the house for an hour.

After that Tracy and I sat outside the house and enjoyed the sun. I read some of my current book, Polgara the Sorceress, and we just chilled for a bit.


After dinner Lucy and I walked to the co-op. Lucy navigated us by her special route. We went up the hill towards her school, past the childminder and a couple of her friends houses before arriving at the co-op. She talked the whole way there about what way we were going next and whose houses we were going past. It was a good walk.

When we got there it was just over half an hour before closing time and it was quite busy. There were four people ahead of us waiting to go in. While we were waiting a couple of NHS staff appeared and we encouraged them to jump the queue.

We were there for milk, bread and ice cream. We got some sweeties too. The shelves were pretty sparse, I’ve never seen them so empty. We managed to get some skimmed milk and a nice loaf. There was plenty of bread and milk. There were almost no crisps and half the sweet aisle was empty. Fizzy drinks were likewise depleted, just coke and some Schweppes lemonade. Pretty much just the more expensive stuff was left.

When we came out, with twenty minutes before closing, there were about eight people waiting to go in. All standing their two metres apart.